The Athletics take a two-games-to-none lead into the third game of this four-game set against the visiting Boston Red Sox. Two right-handers take the hill today: Jesse Chavez (6-4, 2.93, 14 starts) faces Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.84, 4 starts). Chavez is coming off a six-inning one-run outing on June 15 against the New York Yankees where he walked no batters and struck out four. De La Rosa, making his fifth start, pitched seven scoreless innings against the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park on June 16, giving up just one hit while walking three and striking out three.
Now pitching, number 43, Dennis Eckersley
Dennis Eckersley won the Hall of Fame Race on Thursday, much to his delight:
While Rollie Fingers won on Friday, Eck's Thursday performance, combined with his 320 career saves in Oakland, was good enough to give him the honor of throwing today's ceremonial first pitch.
Now batting, number 1/2, Nash Punto
Nick Punto's son, Nash Punto, took batting practice this morning.
Nash Punto also pitched batting practice this morning.
Nash Punto also rounded the bases this morning.
Nash Punto is a gritty four-year-old with The Will To Win.
|BOSTON RED SOX||OAKLAND A'S|
|Brock Holt - RF||Coco Crisp - CF|
|Dustin Pedroia - 2B||John Jaso - C|
|David Ortiz - DH||Yoenis Cespedes - DH|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Brandon Moss - LF|
|Daniel Nava - LF||Josh Donaldson - 3B|
|A.J. Pierzynski - C||Jed Lowrie - SS|
|Stephen Drew - SS||Stephen Vogt - RF|
|Jonathan Herrera - 3B||Alberto Callaspo - 1B|
|Jackie Bradley Jr. - CF||Eric Sogard - 2B|
Two catchers today with Derek Norris sitting out to nurse the arm contusion he suffered on a foultip yesterday.
Norris (forearm) could be available off bench today. Blanks (calf) potentially available too but Melvin will wait and see. #Athletics— Susan Slusser (@susanslusser) June 21, 2014
Your other bench players are right-handed outfielder Craig Gentry and switch-hitting infielder Nick Punto.
It's not easy finding good quotes about streaks
Some notable streaks and records from the Athletics game notes:
- Wins: The A's have won four in a row and six of their last seven. Since 2012, their record of 236-162 is the best in baseball by 8.5 games, ahead of Atlanta's 228-169. This is the A's 54th consecutive day in sole possession of first place in the AL West.
- Time: Average game time has crept up by about the length of replay review, on 3:10. The Oakland record is 3:08 in 2000. The 3:10 figure excludes the light failure delay from last Saturday.
- Run Differential: Blah blah blah, +135. The best run differential by the All-Star Break in Athletics history is +95 in 1973. Seattle's 2001 team is the last with a run differential greater than 127 at the break.
- Winning Months: The A's need two more wins to clinch their 13th consecutive winning month. This would match the Oakland record set from Sept. 1970 to Sept. 1972. The Swingin' A's did pretty well for a little while after that too, I would note.
- No rookies: Arnold Leon is the only rookie to appear on the active roster this year, but his failure to make an appearance in the Seattle doubleheader means that A's have not used a rookie in 74 consecutive games, the longest single-season streak in Oakland history. It is the longest such streak since the 2005 Cleveland Indians went the first 82 games without playing a rookie.
- Sean Doolittle: 23⅓ innings scoreless, the seventh longest by a reliever in Oakland history. A scoreless inning today would move him past Rollie Fingers and Diego Segui to tie him with Rick Honeycutt for fourth longest. Brad Ziegler owns the longest streak at 39.0 innings. Doolittle is the first pitcher since 1900 to strike out 45 batters prior to issuing his second walk.
- The bullpen: Riding a three-game, 9.0 innings scoreless streak. They've issued the fewest walks (71) amongst American League bullpens.
- Fernando Abad: That's a two-game winning streak right there. He has stranded all 15 of his inherited runners, making him the only qualifying AL reliever to not allow an inherited runner to score.
- Hitting Streaks: Cespedes - 6 games; Crisp - 6 games; Donaldson - 6 games; Gentry - 2 games; Jaso - 4 games; Lowrie - 2 games.
First pitch at or around 1:05 pm. Let's go Oakland!